Thursday, August 21, 2014 · 7:57 p.m.

(Im)perfect Parenting: Go home, toddler, you are drunk

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Just when you thought you’d put your heavy drinking days behind you and that your evenings of babysitting your drunken friends were over, you become a parent and realize that toddlers and preschoolers are basically just like drunk people—except for the fact that you can’t drive them home, dump them on a couch and then leave. Because you gave birth to these tiny drunks and they’re yours now.

Seriously, think about it! Have you ever seen a toddler walk/run? Their depth perception is all over the place. The other day, my daughter was barreling down the hallway and just fell over. No wobble, no stumble, she just fell the hell down. I asked her if she’d been drinking; and she started horse-laughing, doubled over and fell down again.

Speaking of the horse-laugh, my kid does it at the most random moments and does it when no one else is laughing. She’s like that drunk girl at the party who laughs hysterically for absolutely no reason at all while everyone around just sort of stares at her and wonders what to do. It generally goes like this:

Me: So, Nellie, what did you do at school today?

Nellie: Oh, well, we learned about snakes.

Me: Wow, snakes, that’s—

Nellie: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Me: ...

My crazy kid

My daughter has the tendency to get going on a subject; and then, much like someone who has had one too many shots, she goes completely off-track, stutters, repeats herself and then just starts talking about something else entirely. Here is proof that my daughter is like a drunk—just watch this video of her talking about iguanas and frogs (listen carefully around the :26 mark).

Preschoolers, like drunks, have absolutely no idea how to behave in public. My daughter stomps around Target, yelling at passersby about her pooping habits while picking at her underwear and roaring like a dinosaur. She’s incapable of speaking at an appropriate volume, so a lot of the time when we go out to eat, she’s like that drunk guy at the nearby table who argues loudly that people give Nickelback a bad rap and how their early stuff is actually really good—while his friends slowly melt down in their chairs from embarrassment because DUDE. No. Nickelback was NEVER good, and they deserve EXACTLY the rap they get. My daughter is just like Nickelback Fan No. 1, but instead of talking about the absolute fail awful hair Muppet-like voice musical prowess of Chad Kroeger, she is yelling at everyone about my armpit hair.

Life with a toddler is like a never-ending version of this frat boy classic. (Image: Universal Pictures, Wikipedia)

Oh, one time, I was sitting in the living room, minding my own business, when all of a sudden she came stumbling into the room, bumped into the table and yelled, “I DON’T EVEN CARE!” Then, she turned around and ran back into her bedroom.

I could not make this crap up if I tried. My life is like a never-ending viewing of "National Lampoon's Animal House."

Toddlers and preschoolers have the ability to barf all over the place and act like nothing ever happened. Holy crap, that kid just puked on her mom! Is she going to sit around and mope about projectile vomiting in another human being’s face? Nope. She’s gonna rally the troops and go right back to playing with her ponies because that’s how hardcore she is. She might even laugh about it and fall down. PARTY GIRL.

Small children are loud, inappropriate, stumbling college-kids-in-waiting. They will puke on your shoes, humiliate you in public and get you thrown out of 75 percent of the places you visit. And just as we did for our best friends back in the party days, we will gladly hold their hair, pick them up when they fall and listen to the same damn story for the fourth time in a row because they have no recollection of already telling it. We do these things because we love them.

And also because we know that one day we might need someone’s shoes to barf in. An eye for an eye, a barf for a barf. Or something. Now if you’ll excuse me, my child wants to tell me about "guanas again"—yeah, yeah.

Natalie Green is a Chicago girl living in Chattanooga with her husband and their 3-year-old daughter. When she’s not working full time outside of the home, she enjoys reading, writing, singing, zombies and running. From zombies. And also beer. You can stalk her blog, Mommy Boots, or follow her on Twitter @mommyboots, or you can email her directly at nagreen84@gmail.com. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.

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